Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears customers of Rochester Public Utilities will see another round of rate hikes next year. The RPU Board’s meeting today includes a briefing on the municipal utility’s 2019 budget, which includes a recommended 1.9-percent increase in electric rates and a 6-percent hike for water service.

Last year, when the RPU Board voted to approve a 1.5-percent increase in electric rates and a 6-percent boost for water rates, the utility projected another 6-percent hike in the water rate and a 2.5-percent electric increase.

A big reason for the lower than anticipated electric increase is the 4-percent drop in the wholesale electric rate charged to RPU by the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency

At this point, RPU is anticipating annual 6-percent increases for water for another five years and annual 2.5-percent raises for electric rates from 2020 through 2023. The RPU Board will finalize the budget and proposed rate hikes next month, and if the Rochester City Council approves, the rate increases would take effect on January 1st.